By Mark Thompson
April 28, 2014

The U.S. military’s commandos are among the best in the world. But they can always get better. That means faster, lighter, deadlier, cheaper. So that’s why U.S. Special Operations Command issued a formal request for “Advancement of Technologies in Equipment for Use by U.S. Special Operations Forces” on Monday.

“USSOCOM is interested in receiving white papers from all responsible sources from industry, academia, individuals, and Government laboratories capable of providing the design, construction, and testing of SOF related technologies,” Special Ops headquarters in Tampa, Fla., says.

Many of the wished-for technologies simply improve on existing gear. But others seem like blue-sky fantasies.

Since everyone else seems to be carrying concealed weapons lately, why not U.S. Special Forces:

Not to mention their everyday weapon:

Some high-powered bullets would be nice:

As would kinder, gentler rounds:

Not to mention area-denial options:

We’ve got guided missiles … why not guided bullets?

And boosted brainpower, via drugs or other means, would surely be an advantage:

Time lag in video games is a drag. Inside battlefield electronics, it can be deadly:

Calling Google!

Finally, a technology that would be hailed by civilians just as much as soldiers:

“The intent,” the Special Ops command says, “is to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities to the SOF warfighter.” Developers are invited to submit five-page proposals, complete with cost and schedule estimates, before June 12 for possible Pentagon funding.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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